Skip to main content

tv   France 24 News  PBS  August 5, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

5:00 pm
5:01 pm
>> a quick news update for you here. the u.s. is keeping embassies across the middle east and africa shut until at least saturday after the end of the muslim eid festival. officials say a message was intercepted from al qaeda. he was found guilty of plotting to overthrow the government in a landmark trial. a convicted pedophile who was pardoned by the king was rearrested by spanish police. hsparking protest.
5:02 pm
radioactive water is leaking out of the fukushima powerplant into the pacific. the situation is called an emergency. it is the world's first-ever stem cell burger. grown entirely in the lab from cattle stem cells some are hailing it as the future of sustainable food. that is your up-to-date with the main international news stories. plenty more to come. >> welcome back. we are discussing the trial in turkey and the possible next steps. the trial that ended with the former head of the military jailed for life over a coup plot to over three -- overthrow the
5:03 pm
turkish prime minister. the court convicted and sentenced more than 40 including military officers, journalist, and a police chief. the sentences range from a year to life. here with our guests. thank you for being with us. they committee kaisha's consultant, a member of the board of directors. good to see you. and a phone journalist, henry barking's, professional --
5:04 pm
professor of international relations. and an expert on turkish economic affairs based at kings in london but also a risk analyst as well. let's hear some reaction to the trial of the opposition mp in turkey. >> this is a threat to the army of the republic of turkey. it is not acceptable. if you are trying someone who has been the commander of the turkish armed forces for being a member of a terrorist organization, that means you're targeting and trying the army of the republic of turkey. this country will not accept it. >> did you say that this has been an attack on the army of turkey? >> it is an attack on the army involvement.
5:05 pm
i desire to be involved in politics. there are a lot of controversy all reports. it is a debatable issue. i suggest that it is clear the army has been affected. a lot of officers are -- we have seen it in this year's army appointments. it raises questions about the army's capabilities. what the opposition mp said, it is what they have been saying since this trial began. i will suggest that they have shifted.
5:06 pm
i think the controversy in the justice system, the criticism of the persecutors and the trials are being highlighted. i think in the long run, the political spectrum will shift from islamic and secular to more freedom versus [indiscernible] this trial's effect will be in turkey's history. and i think the opposition will be very decisive and efficient. >> let's bring in the anchor of bureau chief.
5:07 pm
a comment saying that this was an attack on the army. think about the type of protests we have seen in istanbul and spreading beyond the country against prime minister order on -- erdowan. is this going to make those people hwwho are press testing, will they make -- will they feel better? >> the protests started out of evironmental concern. it was hijacked by extremists groups and in turn and to anti- government protests. since 2007 this is been going on and it was before the protests kicked in. there was a trial called the
5:08 pm
sledgehammer case. the verdict was rendered a couple of months ago and it is in the appeal process now. we are seeing apples and oranges here. we are also trying to create an image that the government is interfering with independent judiciary. the government is ordering the judges to come up with harsh sentences which came up with a very conference of plan to overthrow the government including setting up hundreds of websites. all directed with criticism of the government and with the taxpayers money. when you see this kind of evidence, very compelling evidence, judges have no choice but to render that kind of harsh sentence. including the former general chief of staff. you need to make a distinction here. i think there is something else
5:09 pm
as we have seen especially since 2011 when the government shifted toward more like authoritarian rule rather than a liberal one which they promised in the elections. that has nothing to do with the military having a subordinate role. >> assuming the way the the protests were put down it certainly made the eu said ben take notice saying that this will block and handicap the eu membership and that is the eu speaking about that. thank you for your contribution. let me bring in our guest. in terms of what abdullah is saying, the events of what happened today, no relation at all. is there not a feeling in turkey that the style of government
5:10 pm
umbrellas all this and leads to the feeling that the government is trying to control more people's lives? >> the government is and -- interfering with the trial which is not proved exactly. what is going on with the trials with the military has exposed the flaws of the turkish democracy. because of the way the trials were conducted has been widely criticized by all human rights organizations. it has not -- they did not abide by the rules of any normal liberal democratic judiciary process. i think this cannot -- this needs to be acknowledged. what had it -- matters to me today is the maturity of the political debate in turkey sells
5:11 pm
-- still seems to be very low. we have conspiracy against conspiracy. the idea that they have white evidence that there was a coup plotted whereas some people would say they were forged. it looks like no one trusts the other so we already alluded to the violence of the political debate in turkey. what matters to me also is the complete absence of true discussion between the different protagonists on the political scene. >> it needs to be separated from the army and announcing the fact that the sentences are harsh should not prevent them from explaining that it is not normal. >> why are they keen to defend the army question mark >> it is a tradition of the left-wing
5:12 pm
party from being close to the army. that was appear to be strongly linked. but now if they want to build the start position, they will defend them -- [indiscernible] is becoming more totalitarian. and partly because of htat. the military and the army is -- was very often trying to interfere in politics. both sides need to work on trying to be much more constructive for the political debate. >> some of the defendants were
5:13 pm
probably guilty of certain crimes. they did not get a fair trial, someone sending us a message on twitter. let's put that to abdullah. a fair trial, doubting turkish justice saying these people did not get a fair trial. what would you say to that? >> there is a lot of shortcomings. you need to make progress on that. compared to other cases we have seen in turkey, even in ordinary land dispute cases, they have been going on for years. compared to those cases, the case has received positive and preferential treatment by the judiciary. they have been holding trials but in other cases they had a month part for me cheering. secondly em, the defendants
5:14 pm
appealed their cases and the judges of the european court of human rights dismissed almost all the charges raised by the defendants including the reason able charges. they do not know what they have been charged with and not very compelling evidence. as some of the participants that in this program. the judge said -- they have been very compelling evidence and they have been notified. a lot of propaganda was shut down by the european court of human rights. >> we will come back to you in a moment. let's bring in jenhenry bocce. in terms of erdowan andhi
5:15 pm
performance, some are saying that he is becoming more authoritarian. that gives the impression of an authoritarian response. do you feel there is something to fear in what erdowan might do next? >> i don't think this trial is going to affect his behavior. erdowan has already assumed complete amanda turkish politics. it is -- turkey has already become a one-man state. [inaudible] so there is a vacuum there. this trial is [inaudible]
5:16 pm
was already enough and as i said earlier, [inaudible] in fact, -- >> i am sorry to stop you. we are not hearing you very well. we will bring you again and try to get to your other line everyone at home in the studio -- and in the studio can hear what you're saying. let's come back to our guests in the studio to get more on this idea. erdowan is the most influential person in turkish politics. it has become a one party state. that cannot be good, can it? >> just wanted to go back to one point. i agree when he says the army is still weak today.
5:17 pm
we cannot -- everyone is afraid of a military coup. you see the reactions after what happened in egypt. the turkish government was in a panic. they have also some reflexes going and they are afraid they are in danger. the army might be the number one opponent in terms of the people they can mobilize to oppose the government. another thing is we should not assume that the members of parliament were innocent. this is a caricature of the turkish politics. >> it is not black and white. there are so many gray areas come us a many different layers. >> some people were tried. even if any different cases
5:18 pm
aggregated in a strange way and an awkward way. the colonel has something to do with what is called in turkey the deep state. a coalition between the extreme right and the army. this really refers to the history of turkey over the last decades and the promise that this trial has not clarified anything. it was the function of this trial to get rid of bad reflexes. >> you wonder what the government thinks of the muslim motherhood. is it peaceful or a group of terrorists and thugs threatening government? the reaction showed the true
5:19 pm
colors of erdowan and where he comes from. >> there was a panic. he was also losing an ally in the region. just to continue, there is a tradition in turkey. we mentioned deep state and the gray walls and the coup of the 1960s. when we say that he is becoming more totalitarian, it is true. it is because of him being an islamist and having a hidden agenda, i do not think so. or because of him being in direct line with the political tradition of turkish politics.
5:20 pm
when he has become more authoritarian it is because of the turkish citizens. it means that what turkey would mean is to liberalize the state. institutions should not try to make a military coup against an elected government. pre-k's let's pick up on another tweet that has come in.
5:21 pm
anlet's bring in our next guest. in terms of what erdowan does, how he runs the country, maybe dictatorship is too strong a word. >> i think it is not just dictatorship that authoritarian tendencies. kirsten want to make myself clear. on the other hand this is the protest. i think it will be what -- much more freedom versus authoritarian tendencies.
5:22 pm
all those trials will find a new place with much more focus on freedom. i think the turkish system which comes from 1982 is giving the leader of all parties immense power. he has been the most popular prime minister this country has seen in decades. governments, authoritarian tendencies are being deflected. the other incidents have been the signal that the system is not enough for turkey.
5:23 pm
turkey is much more a progressive country now. >> would you say personal freedom is improving? >> i think if you have the same idea with a ruling party it does not matter. the people who have a different lifestyle who think the government is trying to impose there are -- their own morals. the behaviors are subject, the prime minister said [indiscernible] legislation is done. when you look at the health side of the issue, turkey has the least consumption in europe. i would say that if there is no
5:24 pm
agenda this creates a big reception among the other segments of society which did not vote for him and creates a big tension. this polarization will find itself in the political scene. ringing us more into the freedom for the first time. people from different [indiscernible] got together. those kind of authoritarian tendencies even if it is not -- >> you mentioned the k another o society which creates another layer of confusion or and perhaps understanding. we will go back to ankara.
5:25 pm
this is tied up with this idea of the deep state. would you say the deep state is finished? >> i do not think so. the deep state is nestled within the heart of the country within the military. everybody from different walks of life. this is about culture. the verdict we have seen today is one step in the right direction. we need to do more. to establish a democratic culture in turkey. i am hopeful in that regard because transformation is happening in turkey pot society is reflective of the government. it doesn't matter if the government or he tries to use authoritarian measures. to silence his critics. that is a futile attempt.
5:26 pm
with technology, it is difficult to exercise the kind of censorship that every government wants in turkey. they may put pressure on the media and columnists from the paper which is critical of the government. secondly i feel it counterbalances the immense power. there are -- an independent judiciary. the reason that the government proposed a measure to change the judiciary is reflective of that fact. they wanted to control the judicial council that sits at the heart of the judiciary in turkey. >> he said that it is
5:27 pm
complicated to establish [indiscernible] according to the union of turkish journalists, many have been fired because of their coverage of the protests. and i think it is increasing. when you attack -- >> we have a tweet coming in on the issue. not really dictatorship is definitely hubris syndrome. intoxication with too much power for too long. finally a diagnosis there. is this the problem that he does not have a viable opposition to my does not have anyone telling him so there's that possibility he goes too far. >> the opposition party has to democratize the main problem for the next election coming next
5:28 pm
year, local and presidential elections. the reform seems to be impossible at present. >> we need to leave it there. thank you very much. thanks to our guest. thank you for joining us. thank you for being part of our debate and thank you for watching. do stay with us. captioned by the national captioning institute
5:29 pm
5:30 pm